On Sabbath, May 22, 2021, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) participated in the World Day of Prayer for Children at Risk, with a special focus on praying for the children of St. Vincent, whose lives are now challenged by La Soufriere Volcano which began to erupt in April, 2021.
On the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s calendar, this Day of Prayer is reserved for urgent intercession and acts of goodwill by members, on behalf of millions of children around the world who are affected by neglect, human trafficking, starvation and many other forms of abuse.
The NCC Children’s Ministries Director and head of the initiative, Mrs. Linda Ambrose, said, “Children at risk need to be protected and helped so that they can use their God-given talents to their fullest. At-risk children are those who are exposed to some kind of harm or danger. They need our prayers. The NCC CM Department decided, this year, to be relevant and focus on the children at risk in St. Vincent (SVG). Many of these children are at risk for displacement and homelessness; at risk for increased health issues; at risk for malnutrition; at risk for dehydration; and so much more! All due to the recent volcanic activity. It’s a GC [General Conference] initiative but praying for SVG is a NCC initiative and we love it. Understanding the great challenge [that] the children of St. Vincent faced, I reached out to the Children’s Ministries Director of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and asked for, about, 250 names of children, there in St Vincent. We wanted families in the North Caribbean Conference to adopt a child before Day of Prayer for Children at Risk, so they can keep them in their prayers and later, when things settle down and the trailers stop coming, these same families may be a blessing to them in another way.”
“A great initiative of support for our hurting families in St. Vincent,” affirmed the NCC President, Pastor Desmond James.
“My counterpart from SVG, Mrs. Arlene Thomas, was truly touched by the initiative and went right to work to send me the first names of 250 children, withholding last names for obvious reasons. Of course, as soon as families picked the names, there were calls and texts to me stating their desire to do more than pray. They wanted to know how they could send special packages to their “adopted” child. But that’s another project in the making. In our CARU CM WM Directors’ meeting, held on May 25th, Sister Thomas was overwhelmed with gratitude for all the prayers and packages for her island, and especially for the children,” Mrs. Ambrose added.
Sister Dawnlyn Henry the Children’s Ministries Coordinator for the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and her team were not intimidated by the length of the list. She urged families of the BVI territory to set aside some time to focus on its children and those around the world, because their future depends on the actions of today. In the NCC, families went to great lengths to embrace and own the initiative – some children journaled their prayers, for the child their family adopted, and sent these to the NCC Children’s Ministries Director.
Mrs. Ambrose detailed the plan of action: Starting one week before May 22, 2021, local leaders were asked to share the list of children with their congregations so families could adopt a name and immediately begin praying for that child. On Thursday, May 20th, a video was shared across church chats and with individuals, informing them about World Day of Prayer for Children at Risk and the NCC’s initiative. A request was made for the video to be played in the churches on May 22, 2021 – after this, three (3) minutes were spent praying for children.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church spreads hope worldwide and collaborates with non-profits to send evidence that even in the midst of a child’s pain, God is always present with enduring, immeasurable love and compassion.